Sean and I went on a meandering adventure this weekend with my brother and his girlfriend. We picked them up in Seattle and headed north on the freeway until we got into the countryside. We got off on a random exit and followed it around to LaConner, a tiny town named Edison, and finally Bellingham.
We stopped and tasted cheese at an organic dairy outside of Edison, ate at a small restaurant that only uses local foods in their meals, and bought fresh bread at a bakery in Edison. This bakery had samples of granola - a simple mix of roasted oats, coconut flakes, and raisins - which I found to be delicious.
After church yesterday, where my beautiful friend Becca preached an awesome message, I came home and looked up how to make my own. There are so many recipes out there, so I summarized the important information I found (oven temperature and timing) and experimented with the rest.
This was my end product of the first batch I made:
I started out with this:
3 cups old fashioned oatmeal
Quick cooking oats don't really get crispy.
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
I would have preferred chunkier flakes, but this was cheap
1 cup acorn squash seeds
I had these on hand - you could use pumpkin seeds or nuts.
I can't have nuts, so I went with these.
Mix it up and spread it on two greased cookie sheets in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Check and stir it around every few minutes to keep it from burning or sticking.
While that is roasting, prepare the sauce. I used:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
I've heard coconut oil is really good.
1/4 cup agave
Honey or maple syrup works, too.
2 TBLS Brown Sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
You can mess around with these ingredients as much as you want, it all depends on how sweet you want it to be and what flavors you like.
Heat in a sauce pan until brown sugar dissolves.
I added the raisins to this mixture to soften them and add flavor, but a lot of people just like adding them straight to the pan with the oats. Mine became plump and juicy when I roasted them later.
Your oat/coconut/seed mixture is done when it starts looking like this:
Mix this and the sauce together in a bowl and lay back out on the cookie sheets.
Lower the oven temp to 300 degrees and put it back in for 10 minutes to start.
I checked mine every 2 minutes or so and it took about 15-16 minutes for it to finish roasting.
This is what it looked like when it was done.
It turned out really good, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. The granola I had had at the bakery the day before didn't have any sauce on it, I guess, so I did the same thing as this recipe, but just left the sauce off. It turned out to be exactly what I was looking for! The crunchy, nutty oats, roasted coconut, and raisins was the perfect combination. I just switch back and forth between the two depending on how much sugar I'm in the mood for.
Making this granola was super easy and really hard to mess up. I think the only thing you can do wrong is to let it burn. :)
I'm linking up to: